Construction on Sashabaw Rd in the evening in Clarkston, Michigan
At least 17 states use automated camera systems to ticket speeders. The Michigan Senate still must pass legislation for the state to follow suit. (Ilze_Lucero /

As highways undergo repairs across the state, legislators are looking to discourage speeding, with the Michigan House passing a bill on Thursday to automatically issue tickets in construction zones. 

This story also appeared in Bridge Michigan

House Bill 4132, which passed 67-42, would allow the Michigan State Police and the state Department of Transportation to use cameras in work zones.

The system would include a speed timing device that could capture an image of license plates, include the date, location and time of the infraction, then mail offenders a ticket. The automated system could detect vehicles doing 10 mph over the speed limit a mile from the work zone.

“This is simply about workers’ safety,” Rep. Will Snyder, D-Muskegon, who is sponsoring the measure, told Bridge Michigan after the committee vote.

The bill still has to be approved by the state Senate and signed by the governor. If the measure becomes law, Michigan would join at least 17 other states with automated speed ticket cameras, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

A written violation would be issued to first-time offenders or those who haven’t received a violation in over three years. Second-time offenders would be fined up to $150 and third-time offenders would be fined up to $300. 

The bill would create an automated speed enforcement system to oversee implementation of the system and train operators.

Within five years, state police would also have to provide a report including the number of tickets issued and costs associated with the automated system. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan opposed the bill, requesting the time period for reporting be shorter, compiled annually and made public. 

“Five years without reporting on the effectiveness of the program is a long time to be monitoring Michigan roads without accountability,” according to a written statement. 

The bill also establishes a work zone safety fund in the state treasury. All fines would fund the installation and upkeep of the system, as well as police to deter speeding in work zones.

“In 2022, there were 4,393 work zone crashes alone in Michigan that resulted in 16 work zone fatalities and 862 work zone injuries,” said Rob Coppersmith, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, an organization that represents construction workers, in a statement. 

“We appreciate the House taking action on this commonsense bipartisan legislation that would ensure our construction workers are protected while they’re hard at work fixing Michigan’s roads.” 

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    1. 100% agree. We need this outside work zones too. Every municipality should be able to install speeding cameras to automatically enforce speed limits. It’s cheaper than police officers and more effective.

      The money shouldn’t go to the police though as they’re already benefiting from not having to do speed enforcement. It should go to other safety improvements like better street design, sidewalks, lighting, etc.

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